Kathy Balcombe, Pastor and Missionary to China for 53 Years, Dies at 73

Pastor Kathy Balcombe
Pastor Kathy Balcombe (photo: Provided by Sharon Lau )
By Karen LuoJanuary 30th, 2024

Kathy Balcombe, wife of Dennis Balcombe, who has been a missionary to China for over five decades, died in Hong Kong last Thursday.

As a pastor and missionary to China for over 50 years, Kathy Balcombe died of epileptic seizures in a hospital with her family at her bedside. A memorial service in Hong Kong for her will be held on February 24.

Born into an American medical missionary family in Thailand, Pastor Kathy arrived in Hong Kong a month after marrying Pastor Dennis in 1971. She learned Cantonese and served the locals as the spiritual mother of the Revival Christian Church (RCC).

According to the RCC 50th Anniversary booklet, during the early days of RCC, Pastor Kathy was the church’s only pianist and did everything with her husband and one ministry staff. As there were just over 20 people in the church, Pastor Kathy had a close relationship with the congregation. Now that RCC has expanded to six different locations in Hong Kong, she said, “It is not us, but God, who grows the church. So as long as we keep sowing diligently, inevitably some of the seeds will fall on good soil.”

Pastor Kathy gave birth to one daughter, Sharon, and one son, Michael, who passed away in January 2023. Pastor Sharon Lau and her husband, Pastor Samuel Lau, co-lead the Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong.

Pastor Dennis Balcombe, the founder of Revival Chinese Ministries International and Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong, commented that his wife was a “true 20th and 21st century missionary to China.”

“She learned to speak perfect Cantonese and often preached not only in our church but in Chinese churches all over Asia and when she visited her home in the USA. She was a pastor’s pastor, cared for everyone in the church and family, and knew the names of everyone in my large extended family (over 80 people) and all the hundreds of people in the church. She was online for hours a day, sharing with people and praying for them on Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.,” he remarked.

Gary McCreith, director at EaglesRest Ministries, remembered Kathy on Facebook, “One of my heroes of the faith, Kathy Balcombe, graduated to heaven earlier this week. Kathy and her husband, Dennis, are veteran missionaries to China. Since 1969, they have ministered from their base in Hong Kong. One of our Lakeview Ministry Elders, Don Clause, had long supported their ministry, so he, fellow team member Dan Wallace, and I stopped off in Hong Kong after ministering in India to visit them in 1995. During our visit, Dennis invited me to preach at their church, Revival Christian Church. That was such an honor. Kathy hosted us for dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant after the service.”

Daniel Lee Black, Kathy’s adopted spiritual son, posted on Facebook, “Kathy Balcombe was a spiritual giant and someone I admired. She was strong, pioneering, faithful, loving, and kind. She embodied all that is good in both Eastern and Western cultures. Most beautifully, she was a lover of Christ. In all she endured, she never once lost her love for Him. She was a worshipper and a friend of God.”

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